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Analysis of human vergence dynamics

Tyler, C. W., Elsaid, A.M., Likova, L.T. , Gill, N. & Nicholas, S.C. (2012). Analysis of human vergence dynamics. JOURNAL OF VISION, 12(11), doi: 10.1167/12.11.21


Disparity vergence is commonly viewed as being controlled by at least two mechanisms, an open-loop vergence-specific burst mechanism analogous to the ballistic drive of saccades, and a closed-loop feedback mechanism controlled by the disparity error. We show that human vergence dynamics for disparity jumps of a large textured field have a typical time course consistent with predominant control by the open-loop vergence-specific burst mechanism, although various subgroups of the population show radically different vergence behaviors. Some individuals show markedly slow divergence responses, others slow convergence responses, others slow responses in both vergence directions, implying that the two vergence directions have separate control mechanisms. The faster time courses usually had time-symmetric velocity waveforms implying open-loop burst control, while the slow response usually had time-asymmetric velocity waveforms implying closed-loop feedback control. A further type of behavior in a distinct subpopulation is a compound anomalous divergence response consisting of an initial convergence movement followed by a large corrective divergence movement with time courses implying closed-loop feedback control. The closed-loop response for slow responses to disparity steps exhibited pronounced oscillations in the velocity trace, implying the involvement of a sampled-data system with a rate of about 3 samples/s. This analysis of the variety of human vergence responses thus contributes substantially to the understanding of the oculomotor control mechanisms underlying the generation of vergence movements.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: oculomotor; dynamics; vergence; binocular; eye movements; convergence; divergence; anomaly
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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